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STUDENTS' DIFFICULTIES IN SOLVING ALGEBRAIC PROBLEMS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

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Project Research
Pages: 54
Quantitative
Percentage/Frequency
1-5 Chapters
Abstract Available
APA 7th Edition
48 Hours
NGN 3,000

Project Research Pages: 54 Quantitative Percentage/Frequency 1-5 Chapters Abstract Available APA 7th Edition 48 Hours NGN 3,000

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Project Research Pages: 54 Quantitative Percentage/Frequency 1-5 Chapters NGN 3,000 Abstract Available APA 7th Edition 48 Hours
STUDENTS' DIFFICULTIES IN SOLVING ALGEBRAIC PROBLEMS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

STUDENTS' DIFFICULTIES IN SOLVING ALGEBRAIC PROBLEMS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Education is seen as the most effective way of developing the potentialities of young and adult learners so that they can contribute meaningfully to the development of society. In Nigeria, education is a "par excellence" tool for achieving national development (National policy on Education, 2022). It is widely acknowledged that without meaningful education, no community or nation can achieve substantial development.

According to Ivowi (2022), national development can take place only if there is a crop of people resources with the necessary knowledge and abilities to interact with ideas and materials to achieve the desired outcome. An individual's development began in his early childhood, particularly in primary school (Owolabi, 2022).

Mathematics can be described in a variety of ways, but the Oxford dictionary (2021) defines it as the "science of numbers." Mathematics is also defined as the acquisition of an individual's capacity to apply deductive and inductive reasoning to real-life situations.

According to Abiodun (2022), mathematics is at the heart of all educational goals in order to train individuals to work successfully and efficiently, especially in this age of contemporary technology. It necessitates that the individual studying it have a thorough understanding of mathematics in order to comprehend the subject's ideas.

According to Ames (2022), mathematics improves students' problem-solving and analytical skills. It allows students to use their knowledge and abilities in both familiar and unusual settings.

Dale (2022) defines mathematics as the foundation of all technology. All advancements are the result of scientific and mathematical discoveries. Medicine, engineering, natural science, social science, physical science, technology, business, and commerce all use it. Computers may be found in banks, hospitals, and universities, and they are utilized by accountants, physicians, teachers, research scientists, students, and many others. All of this is a reality as a result of the importance of mathematics in all parts of human existence.

According to Butler (2022), mathematics is the foundation of all human knowledge. This is due to the fact that mathematics has been at the forefront of human endeavors to comprehend his surroundings and be able to collect all aspects in it in order to make life more pleasant for him. As a result, mathematics encompasses many fields of science and is highly essential in many aspects of life, regardless of the degree of application.

Mathematics, according to Kenku (2022), is the language of science. He goes on to say that mathematics is the study of numbers, forms, physical systems, and their relationships.

Mathematics is an important aspect of people's daily life; it began with counting by primordial man, which led to computation argument, and logical reasoning. It is general known that mathematics receives the most time in the secondary school schedule, but kids do poorly in it.

According to Olayinka & Omoegun (2022) and Usman & Umeano (2022), mathematics is an indispensable tool for national development because it helps to develop the computational, manipulative, deductive, and inductive thinking as well as problem-solving skills of prospective individuals, enabling them to function effectively in an ever-changing world through self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-actualization. Mathematics is singular in its diversity. It contributes to any society's scientific, industrial, technological, social, and professional growth (Asikhia, 2022).

At secondary schools, topics comprising the branches of mathematics, such as measurement, geometry, inequalities, statistics, functions, and algebra, among others, have been structurally arranged and discussed in sequence, content, teaching activities and aids with respect to sub concepts, concept hierarchy, simplicity, difficulty, technicality, and applications (Macre, Kalejaiye, Chima, Garba, Ademosu, chairman, Smith, & Head, 2022) in order for the mathematics concept to be understood.

Algebra, as a subject of mathematics, has been viewed as a fundamental mathematical concept. Extended mathematics is a branch of mathematics that incorporates both known and unknown quantities. (Osta & Laban, 2022). In addition, they define algebra as the branch of mathematics in which real-world situations are represented by first-degree equations in which the unknown occurs on both sides of the equal sign. In a similar spirit, Mashooque (2022) stated that the symbols, letters, and signs used in mathematics have context-dependent meanings and interpretations. Its usage and applications to the effective acquisition of knowledge, skills, and understanding the tidbits of other concepts in mathematics (measurement, geometry, inequalities, indices, statistics, etc.), sciences, social sciences, maritime, medicine, defense, and vocations, among others, attest to the significance of this multidimensional branch of mathematics in problem-solving (Mashooque, 2022).

Oshin (2022) cites Diophantus and Al-Khawarzmi Mohammed Ibn Musa, the creator and consolidator of algebra, as stating that algebra is one of the oldest mathematical creations that split out from arithmetic when equations and methods for reducing them were established. As a science of transposition and cancellation, algebra was offered. It is the branch of mathematics dealing with the solution of equations by procedures like transposition and cancellation. In a same manner, Oshin (2022) stated that as time went, Al-name Khawarizmi's was corrupted into "algorism," which means "the art of calculating" and is today known as Arithmetic. This has helped revolutionize mathematical manipulation, making long division easier for youngsters, and has served as a model for subsequent works that used arithmetic and algebra to the distribution of inheritance and astronomical innovations.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Deductively, algebra is extensive in concept, forms, structure, and applications, since it is studied at almost all educational levels (NCTM, 1989 referenced in Cooley, Martins, Vidakovic, & Loch, 2022). In primary schools, it is generally referred to as Arithmetic, and children study the fundamentals of counting and simple equations, including sum, difference, product, divisions, and word problems. Despite modifications in concept sequence, categories, complexity, and application, algebra keeps its name throughout secondary and postsecondary education. In senior secondary schools, for instance, algebra was split into equations (basic simultaneous and quadratic), set theory, inequality, and variation, each of which needed distinct problem-solving methodologies (Macrae, Kalejaiye, Chima, Garba, Ademosu, & Channon 2022). All of these concepts are taught and studied in senior secondary schools so that students may apply the abilities they've acquired to solve problems in various fields.

Students in secondary schools, particularly in senior secondary schools, have not explored the resourcefulness of algebraic concepts, as evidenced by their poor performance (Kucheman, 1981 cited in Mashooque, 2022). This tendency may be attributable to the difficulty of teaching and comprehending algebraic concepts in senior high schools.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The primary objective of this study is to examine students' difficulties in solving algebraic problems in senior secondary schools. Precisely, this study seeks to:

i.          Determine the extent algebra is taught in secondary schools.

ii.        Examine the teaching methods used in teaching algebra in senior secondary schools.

iii.      Examine the difficulties of algebra teaching in secondary schools.

iv.      Find out ways algebra can be made easier to be learned by students.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

i.          To what extent is algebra taught in secondary schools?

ii.        What are the teaching methods used in teaching algebra in senior secondary schools?

iii.      What are the difficulties of teaching algebra in secondary schools?

iv.      What are the ways algebra can be made easier to be learned by students?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be especially beneficial to senior secondary school mathematics instructors, as it will provide them with an understanding of the issues experienced by students at the next level up, allowing them to better prepare their students.

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the teachers and students of algebra as it will reveal the importance of algebra, challenges faced by both teachers and students of algebra and ways algebra can be made easier.

It would also help curriculum creators with time tabulation and other administrative processes pertaining to this special topic. It is also beneficial for S.S.S students so that they can find the solution when solving math problems in senior high school.

Finally, this study will also be beneficial to scholars as this material will serve as an existing material for further studies and future reference.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study is focused on students' difficulties in solving algebraic problems in senior secondary schools. Specifically, this study is focused on determining the extent algebra is taught in secondary schools, and examining the teaching methods used in teaching algebra in senior secondary schools.

It is further focused on examining the difficulties of algebra teaching in secondary schools and finding out ways algebra can be made easier to be learned by students.

Teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Umuahia, Abia State will serve as the respondents for the survey of this study.

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

As with any human endeavor, the researcher experienced small impediments while performing the study. Due to the scarcity of literature on the subject as a result of the discourse's nature, the researcher incurred additional financial expenses and spent additional time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as during the data collection process, which is why the researcher chose a small sample size. Additionally, the researcher conducted this inquiry in conjunction with other scholarly pursuits. Additionally, because only a small number of respondents were chosen to complete the research instrument, the results cannot be applied to other secondary schools outside the state. Regardless of the limits faced throughout the investigation, all aspects were reduced to ensure the best outcomes and the most productive research.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Algebra: The part of mathematics in which letters and other general symbols are used to represent numbers and quantities in formulae and equations.

 

 

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